Critics have sought to characterize President-elect Obama’s healthcare proposal as “socialized medicine”, despite its relying almost entirely on market dynamics and the private sector. Government spending is considered to be one area where Obama’s plan could be unacceptable to fiscal conservatives, though Obama’s pragmatist fiscal policy is largely in line with conservative fiscal policy and aims to cover new spending with spending cuts elsewhere. New analysis suggests there is already money to cover his plan and to reach near universal coverage with a few workable adjustments in current legislation.
Analysts suggest that Obama’s stated first priority, making sure all American children have access to healthcare —mainly through the SCHIP program, where states use federal funding to provide coverage to uninsured children—, would cost between $6 billion and $9 billion. His plan to help small businesses cover their employees —a step toward universal coverage under the private sector healthcare system— is estimated to cost another $6 billion per year, the combined total costing less than one month of the Iraq war as currently funded.